Four Tools for Earning Digital Trust, Today and Tomorrow
The CEO of an energy company recently approved a $243,000 wire transfer to a scammer impersonating a supplier with a realistic artificial intelligence (AI)-generated “deepfake” video, The Wall Street Journal reported. The CEO was hardly alone: deepfakes are estimated to have cost organizations at least $250 million in 2020—and unfortunately, this criminal business is booming.
This incident shows just one example of the high stakes of digital trust: stakeholders’ confidence that an organization can maintain the integrity of its data, applications, infrastructure, and other digital assets, to ensure transparency, accessibility, security, and privacy across all experiences, platforms, and networks.
An estimated 81% of consumers lose trust in a brand after a breach, and 25% stop interacting with it altogether, according to Ping Identity. And cybercriminals are finding increasingly sophisticated methods to undermine organizations’ financial performance, brand equity, and customer loyalty. The financial repercussions of losing digital trust can be severe: an organization’s relative value against its peers and the comparable industry index can fall by as much as 74% after a scandal, a recent Deloitte study found.
Technology is key to improving digital trust across an organization’s people, process, governance, and regulations. But with the cybersecurity industry filing at least 2,000 patents supporting digital trust between 2015 and 2020, it can be challenging for organizations to determine which tools they need today and tomorrow.
Four leading technologies can help improve digital trust. Two of them, AI-based data monitoring and cloud-enabled data trusts, are increasingly well established; two emerging technologies, blockchain and quantum, will likely disrupt digital trust in the years ahead.
AI-Based Data Monitoring
When an organization is using trust-measurement and monitoring tools, leaders can make the strategic decisions that help them improve trust. That’s critical to growth: a flawed data model can severely compromise outcomes. But the traditional time-consuming methods of manually identifying and cleaning incorrect, stale, missing, or poorly labeled data cost organizations an average of $13 million annually, according to Gartner.
AI can help validate data accuracy, authenticity, and reliability by uncovering missing data, anomalies, or unexpected data in real time, including fake or manipulated documents, images—and even deepfake videos, whose inaccurate shadows and reflections and biometric irregularities may evade manual examination.
Similarly, AI can help improve identity and access management, spotting unauthorized access or abnormal user behavior to block bot accounts and prevent phishing attempts and social engineering or ransomware attacks. Organizations with fully deployed AI solutions can have up to 80% lower cost impacts from data breach incidents than those without, according to IBM. From patient health to user interests, AI can help ensure data is used as intended, flagging intellectual property of various media to identify copyright infringements.
AI innovations related to digital trust are growing briskly, and more mature and automated AI solutions are expected to proliferate.
Cloud-Enabled Data Trusts
An organization has no more powerful asset in its possession than its data—and no asset in more urgent need of defense.
As a bank stores and manages customers’ financial assets, an independent third-party data trust governs, controls, and secures data usage and manages legal data rights for authorized parties. Data trusts are integral components of such use cases as engineering smart cities and securing sensitive health or financial data.
Given the immense volume of incoming internet of things (IoT) data, data trusts can often be invaluable in helping organizations validate single sources of reliable information, making data management more seamless and adding a layer of privacy, and elevating brand reputations by increasing transparency and reducing both data silos and the risks of breaches or loss.
Given its innovative and transformative potential to support digital trust and safety, blockchain technology should be on every organization’s radar as a tool to help organizations authenticate identity, establish asset ownership, and automate trust.
An independently verifiable, immutable, trusted digital ledger that preserves records of all contracts, transactions, and digital identities, blockchain is already widely recognized as the mechanism that establishes asset ownership for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Blockchain also permits unprecedented public transparency and authentication to help verify individuals’ identities in elections, display the provenance of published news sources, protect against piracy and counterfeiting of materials, and speed legal agreements and financial deals. And as a trusted, continually auditable platform, blockchain can reduce the complexity and risks an organization must endure when working with a vast network of trusted third parties.
Organizations should keep an eye on the emerging and immensely powerful potential of quantum computing poised to disrupt digital trust both for good and for ill. While potentially helping organizations perform vast data analytics to uncover trends and anomalies along with enhancing data-encryption systems, it also introduces the threat of exposing data and transactions to cybercrime through the cracking of common encryption techniques.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) uses quantum mechanics to distribute encryption keys between two parties, and its tamper-evident properties reveal any attempts at eavesdropping. QKD’s limitations, including its complex processes, oversized special equipment, and high costs, have impeded more widespread adoption.
Digital trust will depend on organizations implementing postquantum cryptography (PQC): quantum-resistant techniques using mathematical problems too complex for quantum computers to solve. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to standardize quantum-resistant algorithms by 2024, potentially making PQC more cost-effective, and strengthening digital trust by pushing more organizations to improve data hygiene.
Making Digital Trust Work for You
These four digital-trust technologies—AI-based monitoring, data trusts, blockchain, and quantum technologies—may be valuable when working together, helping you boost your brand reputation both by protecting your data and strengthening and streamlining your operations.
And as digital trust concerns every discipline and practice across your organization, it’s critical to explore and continually assess which tools will make the biggest difference to the safety of your customers and the growth of your business.
Read Deloitte’s full Earning digital trust report to learn more about how emerging technologies can help your organization enhance digital trust.
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